Container Terminal Standard Officially Launched

Friday, February 29, 2008
Port logistics are more and more challenged:

More and bigger containerships than ever before are in operation. For both ships and ports, speed, safety and cost-efficiency of container terminals are key issues. The quality and efficiency of container terminals are of great importance to the smooth functioning of the global supply chain. But how to measure terminal operation performance? In a joint cooperation the Global Institute of Logistics, Germanischer Lloyd and further experts of the international container terminal logistics industry have developed a new benchmark standard to assess the effectiveness of container terminal operations.

Yesterday, the Global Institute of Logistics and Germanischer Lloyd officially launched the Container Terminal Quality Indicator (CTQI) in a final workshop with representatives of all industry stakeholders involved, such as terminal operators, shippers, port authorities or 3PLs. The benchmarking system measures the terminal performance within the supply chain process. The result offers the port industry new dimensions: Shippers will now be able to choose terminals that suit best to their needs and supply chain strategy.

To qualify for a CTQI audit a terminal has to implement a management system to ensure a continual improvement process. Further key performance indicators, internal and external factors will be evaluated through the certification scheme. Auditors assess the terminal's performance: They will scrutinise aspects such as the average age of properly-dimensioned cranes and handling equipment or the efficiency of loading and unloading seagoing vessels. The audit will include organisational aspects, such as opening hours of the road gate, communication and planning skills and capabilities, as well as adequate connectivity with the hinterland and the inland waterway system.

The detailed point evaluation enables a qualified discussion between terminal operators, shippers, cargo owners, port authorities, shipping companies and other stakeholders. It is up to the terminals how far to exchange these information as all certified figures and achieved benchmarks are only disclosed in a confidential annex to the certificate. "CTQI creates a level playing field for the certification process through a generic blueprint that considers each terminal's unique characteristics and modal split", explains Kieran Ring, CEO of the Global Institute of Logistics. Wilhelm Loskot, Head of the Shipping and Logistics Department with Germanischer Lloyd Certification, is enthusiastic about the future of CTQI: "There had never before been such a standard providing globally defined figures. CTQI is the simplest way possible to achieve a common language for evaluating container terminals on a worldwide base. This provides the benchmark for a continuous improvement of container terminal performance worldwide." First audits are already scheduled for March 2008.

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